Dr Nyembe
Dr Nthatisi I. Nyembe


My research focuses on the treatment and epidemiology of parasitic diseases of animals and humans, such as trypanosomosis, malaria, piroplasmosis, toxoplamosis and parasitic gastrointestinal nematodes. Treatment of these diseases is based on the successful establishment and maintenance of in vitro cultures, which will enable the use of a high-throughput screening in order to test many various compounds of interest against the causative agents of the diseases. The compounds I use mostly in my research include and are not limited to nanoparticles, synthetic compounds and medicinal plant extracts. I am well knowledgeable in synthesizing nanoparticles, extraction of medicinal plant extracts as well as isolating specific metabolites and/or compounds from the medicinal plant extracts using the high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). The epidemiology part of the research includes screening and the detection of pathogens causing diseases using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Furthermore, I am more passionate about in vivo studies, toxicity and treatment studies. Toxicity studies aim to determine the effect of the pure or synthetic compounds to the wellbeing of the healthy lab animals, mice to be specific. 
Factors such as the up and downregulation of the immune response, haematological and biochemical parameters and the effects of the compound on the vital organs are taken into consideration before a compound can be used for the treatment of the parasites in the mice. Nanoparticles are prepared to increase bioavailability and solubility of the compounds to the solvents not harmful to mice. Depending on the toxicity effects of the compound in mice the study could either continue to the treatment testing or abolished.


FACULTY CONTACT

Elfrieda Lötter: Marketing Manager
T: +27 51 401 2531
E:lottere@ufs.ac.za


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